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What Do Hiring Managers Love to Ask on Phone Interviews?

Often, one of the first steps in a company’s hiring process is a phone interview with candidates who have piqued their interest via their resumes and cover letters. This is generally a very high-level evaluation as recruiters screen for risks, try to validate your qualifications, and see if you’d be a good overall fit for their organization. But, don’t take your upcoming phone interview lightly. After all, your responses will determine whether you make it to the next round.

Here are some common phone interview questions, with tips to prepare for them:

How did you find out about this job?

There are two reasons interviewers ask this question:

1. They are genuinely curious. Your response can be helpful to them as they refine their recruiting process, and
2. They want to understand why you applied.

Keep your answer short and straightforward. Just say where you found the job, i.e., on a job board, on LinkedIn, or through a contact, and briefly describe the reason for your interest.

Tell us a little about yourself.

Your response to this question helps people interviewing you – including those who may not have a background in your specific field – gain context and connect the dots between your resume, you, and the position.

  • Focus on the skills and experience you have that are most relevant. Use the “present-past-future” formula as you respond. After explaining where you are in your career and what you currently do, segue into what you’ve accomplished in the past. End with a short statement describing what you most look forward to doing in the future.
  • What do you already know about our company?

    With this question, a hiring team wants to know if you’ve done your homework when it comes to researching their organization. The right candidates will be passionate about a company and what it stands for.

  • Don’t just regurgitate the company’s About Us page. Instead, select one or two aspects of it that resonate with you, such as their product or service, mission, or culture. Be prepared to talk about why you admire it and how it ties back to you.
  • What are your salary requirements?

    This is not meant to be a stickler or a trick question. It’s certainly not a topic you should bring up. But often, recruiters are given a salary range for a position, so rather than go through an entire interview only to get stuck at that point, they ask about money upfront.

  • You can try keeping the answer vague. Say something like, “Right now, I’m really interested in finding the right fit and am open to negotiating on salary.” If pressed further, provide a range that is accurate with the current market value for the role and appropriate to where you stand within that range. Be prepared to back it up with clear evidence of your value.


  • At PrideStaff Fresno, we work with some of the most well-respected employers in the area, along with new and upcoming businesses – matching them with the right skilled professionals. We can help you find a truly rewarding career opportunity and walk you through interviewing and all the other steps to get you there. Read our related posts or contact us today to learn more.

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